Issue(s): Hulk #256
We start in Israel, and our new hero of the month is Sabra.
Her name means "A person born in Israel", and it's derived from an Israeli fruit which has a prickly surface and a sweet interior (as the Editor's Note helpfully explains; although i don't know if the fruit can properly be said to have "enemies"). She's got the Star of David on her chest and her headband. She's a super-agent created by the Israeli government (one may wonder why the Israeli program seems to be more successful than the US's attempts to replicate the Super-Soldier program. It will later be revealed that she's actually a mutant). She flies and shoots quills out of her fingers.
In her civilian identity, she's a police officer.
Banner befriends a Palestinian boy...
...who gets caught in a conflict between Israeli and Palestinians guerrillas (terrorists?).
The boy dies, and the Hulk's rage gets Sabra to reconsider her opinions on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
I guess what's most upsetting about this is that a conflict that was topical in 1981 is, unlike most topical references in comics, still relevant more than 30 years later.
Also in this issue, funding is cut off for Gamma Base. We get some reactions from Betty Ross, Woodgod's animal-men group (newspaper delivered via airlift by Betty), Rick Jones, and Doc Samson and General Ross on that. And of course Glenn Talbot isn't pleased.
I know this is more Sal Buscema than Bill Mantlo, but that picture of Talbot is how i think of a Mantlo comic. Someone in an opened-mouth impassioned wail, overreacting about something.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Hulk World Tour!
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBetty Ross, Captain Bowman, Doc Samson, Fred Sloan, General 'Thunderbolt' Ross, Glenn Talbot, Hulk, Lt. Perriwinkle, Rick Jones, Sabra, Siren, Wilfred Maxwell, Woodgod
Actually, we saw Sabra briefly in Hulk #250 so you can't really say in Historical Significance it's her 1st story... I guess this is more like her origin story?
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 9, 2014 1:31 AM
@Jay: #250 was only a one-panel cameo with no speaking lines, wasn't it? Right besides the Arabian Knight, who had not even gone through his origin until next issue (#257).
In all honesty, it was more of a bit of meta-commentary or breaking the fourth wall than an appearance proper. It even shows Red Guardian as a sort-of-ally of Darkstar and Crimson Dynamo, quite at odds with what we learn in a few issues (and no Presence).
Posted by: Luis Dantas | March 9, 2014 7:10 AM
"People fight and kill because of old book" even the pea-brained Hulk can see the idiocy of religion.
Posted by: kveto | February 28, 2016 11:01 AM
@Fnord Very funny and insightful comment on Mantlo's characterizations. Plus, one can picture Talbot and General Ross in the "Dr. Strangelove" war room.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | May 28, 2017 1:47 PM
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